Human Papilloma virus is one of the common viruses that affects human beings and hence is the name. These are viruses that can lead to warts. Also commonly know as HPV, there are almost 100 different types of such virus affecting men and women all across the world. Dr Alexander Salerno says that though most of them are harmless, about 30 of them can prove to be dangerous and life threatening. These harmful viruses can prove to be fatal for you as they increase your risk for cancers. Certain kinds typically affect the genital area and the patient usually develops them through sexual contact with an infected person.
According to Dr Alexander Salerno, Human Papillomavirus can be either high risk or low risk. While the low risk viruses can cause genital warts, the high risk ones put you at risk for cancers of vulva, cervix, vagina, anus and penis as well as oral pharynx.
HPV is a virus belonging to the papillomavirus family that infects the human skin as well as the moist membranes lining the body like feet, mouth, throat, anus, cervix and nails. These DNA viruses establish productive infections in the keratinocytes of the mucous membrane or skin. Most of these viruses cause no physical symptoms. In around 90% of infections,our immune system can successfully treat and manage the virus from progressing. However, there is no guarantee the the virus may not develop into a cancer at a later point in life.
How HPV Spreads?
Sexually transmitted HPV are highly contagious and spread through infected bodily fluids, genital skin and can pass through oral sex or intercourse. However, using condom during intercourse does not fully protect a person from this virus.
Besides sexual lifestyle, young age and compromised immune systems are also the characteristics of hosting this infection. To be more specific, people with weak immune system stand a greater chance of getting infected with Human Papillomavirus. For instance, patients with organ transplant, those who are HIV positive and those who are receiving chemotherapy along with diabetes patients have chances to be inflicted with HPV. Dr Alexander Salerno also says that if you have skin lesions, cuts and tears, you are more likely to get infected.
While you visit a doctor, the doctor makes the diagnosis if he observes any warts in the genital area. The doctor might ask you do the following:
- DNA test where the doctor checked if you have been affected by high risk HPV.
- Pap test where a sample of vaginal or cervical cells are sent to the lab for examination.
- Vinegar solution test where vinegar solution is applied to the genital area to observe if the infected areas turn white.
Options range from medical treatments to cryotherapy (burning or freezing). Surgical treatments are for the final stage of this virus infection.
Since 2001, Dr. Alexander Salerno has led Salerno Medical Associates in East Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Alexander Salerno focuses largely on urban communities and on delivering patient education about both medical and behavioral health issues, including alcohol addiction.